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As an Illinois State University student currently studying science, I have obviously been exposed to Benjamin Franklin, possibly one of the greatest American figures to roam this planet. Yet, I am so appalled that some citizens are using his quote to protest the NSA's current domestic wiretapping surveillance program.

As you know, Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Frankly, the times have changed. This is not the 18th century anymore. Wake up. This is the 21st century, and this country faces the dangerous and constant threat of terrorism. Our enemy is as brutal, savage and smart as ever and will do whatever it takes to kill us Americans. What if there are al-Qaida operatives inside the United States making phone calls overseas? What if there are drug cartels calling terror sleeper cells, in hopes of exchanging money and drugs? Terrorists plus money equal a deadly combination.

With all due respect to Franklin's quote, it no longer applies to today's society. We Americans shouldn't have anything to hide anyways, unless you are a terrorist! It's that simple. The terrorists we are at war with are, unfortunately, very smart and techno savvy. We must be not a step, but multiple steps ahead of the terrorists in order to defeat them. Just think about it for once. What would you rather have? Case scenario 1: No surveillance program exists, and a sleeper terrorist in the United States makes a phone call overseas. Next day, 10,000 American citizens perish in a deadly attack. Case scenario 2: A terrorist is caught after wire-tapping his phone line, 10,000 lives are saved and the president bypasses a 1978 law in order to defend the United States.

I rest my case.

Aman Jutla

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